How To Write A Good Spar

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Author: Dinn da Noor

Submitted for raising to Youngling

How to write a good spar

So, you've been assigned a sparring partner and setting by the Sarge, now what? Well, first we'll need to define what a spar is. To put it shortly, a spar is basically a series of posts describing an exchange of actions between the participants, in a pattern of attack, block, counter-attack, block etc. In order to make the spar interesting both to fight and watch, try to describe your actions as detailed and specific as possible, providing your opponent with enough information for an appropriate response. If you want to use sword forms for style (and simplicity), a list can be found in our library.

The spar should last for a while, but that does not mean that you're supposed to dodge and parry every attack. Take some occasional blows, but don't make the same mistake twice. Also, one-post beatdowns and post-hit dodging should be avoided as they take away the entertainment and purpose in spars. Furthermore, you shouldn't write down your opponent's actions; until they are posted, you have no idea what to expect, so don't make any assumptions about it either. The point of the spar is to learn and gain experience for later spars, something the above actions takes away when employed. Where's the skill displayed or the fun in beating someone down without him not getting a chance of defending himself, or dodging already landed strikes?

Your choice of weapon (or, if you are a recruit, your choice of sword) should suit both the location of the spar as well as your opponent's weapon. In a narrow alley, long weapons will not provide the diversity and complexity of moves as daggers or a hand-to-hand spar would. Neither would a short-sword be very useful against a quarterstaff. You should also take in mind the opponent's rank; if a recruit is fighting a Gaidin, the latter would most likely win on the basis of his experience.

If you're looking for ideas or inspiration, some of the best and most renowned spars are located in the Garrison, and who knows, you might just end up there yourself one day.

With that said - get out there and have fun!